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Grand Jury Indicts No One in Sandra Bland Case
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Sandra Bland. Photo courtesy of

Summary: No one was indicted in the death of Sandra Bland.

One of the most tragic stories of 2015 has neared a conclusion—one that is disappointing for the family of Sandra Bland and those in the country who urged others to “Say her name.”


On Monday, a grand jury in Texas declined to indict anyone in the connection of Sandra Bland’s alleged suicide in her cell at Waller County Jail. The 28-year-old black woman from Chicago was stopped on July 10  by a white police officer who escalated a traffic stop to an arrest. While in jail, she died on July 13, and her death added fuel to the fire of the national conversation of how black citizens are treated by the police.

Video of the traffic stop shocked the nation. In the video, Texas state trooper Brian Encinia asks Bland to put out her cigarette after pulling her over for failing to signal a lane change. Annoyed at the request, she refuses. Annoyed at her refusal, he escalates the situation, demanding she get out of her car, throwing her to the ground, and telling her that he will, “Light her up” with a taser.

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Bland was subsequently arrested, and the Waller County Jail claimed she committed suicide in her cell days later by hanging herself with a trash bag. News of her suicide sparked conspiracy theories online of whether or not she was murdered.

Encinia was placed on administrative leave after her death.

Some who watched the video expressed that Bland should have just done what the officer said, even if his cigarette request wasn’t in his scope. However, based upon Encinia’s short fuse, one has to wonder if any type of behavior, submissive or not, would have fueled his rage. Plus, other questions are hard not to ignore. Why was she in jail for days because of a failure to signal? Why did Encinia have to get so aggressive, even if she was rude? Why would a young woman who was moving to start a new job commit suicide? These unanswered questions make the Bland tragedy a mystery as well.

Darrell Jordan, the special prosecutor, said that the grand jury will reconvene next month to discuss other aspects of the case. He said the case is “still open.”

The lawyer for Bland’s family, Cannon Lambert, expressed frustration and disappointment in the grand jury’s decision.

“We are unfortunately disappointed by the fact that our suspicions regarding this sham of a process have come to fruition,” Lambert said.

Lambert did not seem to feel confident that anything new will develop when the grand jury meets in January. He expressed to the New York Times that he had not received enough information about the investigation.

Lambert is representing the Bland family in a wrongful death suit against Texas state and local authorities. The case will begin next year.




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